a clear danger. the u.s. secretary of defense warns of the threats from north korea and outlines the american response. chuck hagel has been on the job for just over a month but during that time the u.s. defense secretary has heard daily propagations. they will warn u.s. targets and those of their allies and they've done so again.
>> some of the actions they have taken these last few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat to the interest certainly of our allies. >> commanders at the pentagon say they will deploy a missile defense system to guam. they need to increase defenses against a possible attack. state media broadcast soon after hagel spoke. they would inform the u.s. government they had approved a possible nuclear strike. america's hostile policy would be smashed. residents of singapore are noticing another sign in the region. the visit highlights president obama's decision to focus more on the asia pacific.
>> reporter: the aircraft carrier has been docked at singapore since monday. the ship is on its way back to the west coast of the u.s. following a five-month mission in the middle east. the attendees were allowed on to the deck of the 330 meter long ship. there they were briefed on the deployment of fighter jets and helicopters which have sonar to detect underwater crafts. navy officials say the carrier will conduct landing practice of aircraft and maintain contacts with military officials in the asia pacific region. u.s. president barack obama met with the singapore prime minister in washington on tuesday. singapore has agreed to a u.s.
plan to deploy cutting edge combat ships to the country on a rotational basis beginning as early as this month. obama expressed his appreciation to the country for allowing the u.s. to use military related facilities. >> i'm very thankful for singapore and its partnership. i'm thankful for the prime minister for his outstanding work. >> singapore is very happy that the u.s. and the obama administration has been putting greater emphasis on its relations with asia. >> reporter: thailand and the philippines are asean members and old u.s. allies. by enhancing ties with singapore in addition to these nations, the u.s. government is demonstrating the new defense strategy, rebalancing to asia. nhk world, singapore.
health authorities in china have found two more indications bringing the number of infections to nine. the number of patients may grow. a third man has died from h7n9. strain of flu not detected in people. they warn the number of people infected by the virus may grow. local authorities in china announced wednesday a third man has died from the virus. a strain of avian flu not previously detected in people. w.h.o. spokesperson, gregory hartl, said the strain appears to have mutated making it more infectious to humans. speaking at the headquarters in geneva he cautioned against panic but predicted the number of patients will rise in the short term. >> we're a long ways away from thinking about a pandemic. we've only had, as i say, seven confirmed cases with a couple of other reported cases and no evidence of human to human transmission. >> w.h.o. administrators are coordinating with their counterparts in other organizations to determine if existing flu drugs can be used to treat the virus. they're working to see if they can develop a new vaccine. they are growing concerned about
the virus. and if it is spreading. they will share any up researchers have not detected the virus in poultry or other livestock. residents are taking their own precautions. the owners of poultry stalls at markets in shanghai have seen their sales plunge. >> translator: our sales are less than half the usual level. >> translator: i'm worried because we don't know the infection route. i'm avoiding eating chicken. >> translator: i make my grandchildren wash hands carefully and i check news every day.
>> health authorities in taiwan have ramped up border inspections and stepped up inspections of imports from china. the bird flu is reported as an infectious disease and orders cases stepped up promptly for monitoring. in vietnam, the agricultural and world development ministry have suspended imports of poultry from china. it will launch an information drive on the spread of the bird flu. commanders at the pentagon says they will launch a u.s. defense system to the territory of guam and need to strengthen the defense from north korea. it will launch a public information drive on the spread of the bird flu. executives at japanese companies are pacing around the room. many of them want to work with other executive executicompany order to strengthen their business. good morning. what's holding them back? >> chinese watchdogs.
regulators aren't handing out approvals as fast as they would like. sony and olympus finally have the green light. sony and olympus say they have won the approval of chinese anti-trust authorities. the new launch date is on april 16th. they planned to launch the venture by the end of 2012. chinese official permission took longer than expected. twice postponing establishment of the new firm. it's delayed other japanese business plans.
bank of japan policy makers will end their two-day meeting on thursday and announce the result late nr in the day. it's the first meeting under the new governor. they are expected to discuss further monetary easing measures to achieve a 2% inflation target as soon as possible. this is to pull japan out of deflation. the central bank buys state bonds that mature in three years or less. they will consider buying more risky assets such as exchange traded funds. discussions will also be held on giving greater transparency on their bond buying programs. one supplies necessary funds to the market and the other is for the purpose of monetary easing.
u.s. markets close lower. the dow jones closed at 14,550. for more on how stocks are trading here in tokyo let's go to ramin. he's at the tokyo stock exchange. investors are focusing more on the boj in the u.s. how are stocks trading? >> markets focused on the bank of japan policy meeting later today. markets have literally been buying into the aggressive talk of boosting growth here in japan, achieving the 2% inflation goal set by prime minister abe. today we're going to see what
exact measures the central bank may take. let's have a look at the opening levels for april 4th here in tokyo. both indexes trading lower. the nikkei down by 2% and the topix down by 1.6%. in addition to the jobs numbers that you're talking about we also saw a decline in nonmanufacturing ism data. to say we have had a volatile week ahead of the boj meeting would be an understatement. the nikkei had seen a 579-point swing between the low and high this week. that's a big move. the markets seem to be placing bets on whether the bank of japan will disappoint or surprise the markets. >> a lot seems to have been priced in it. also the adp private employment data in the u.s. ahead of main
jobs data seem to have driven the dollar lower too. >> reporter: looking at the dollar/yen 92.80 to 81. weekless jobs claims may give it further direction. the bank of japan meeting will dictate the moves for the/yen even if a lot of it has been factored in. investors may be a little cautious. central bank decisions likely to grab the headlines today. we shouldn't expect any major moves. we're seeing the nikkei showing further declines in a pretty volatile week so far ahead of the this bank of japan decision
which will come out later today. >> we will be on top of that. thanks for that update. japan's trade and industry ministry is eager to export environment talal ministry is eager to export environment talaly coal exports. he visited a coal powered power plant in tokyo. officials at the electric power development company said the plant boasts the world top level of efficiency. they went onto explain that the level of nitrogen oxide is the same as plants. >> translator: those countries could carbon dioxide emissions
significantly. >> he said it should be promoted as one of the country's pillars of growth. american investors have looked into a ground and seen a lot of dollar signs. they hope gas trapped between shell formations will drive the u.s. to energy independence. opponents say extracting it harms the environment. >> reporter: in january, a hearing was held to decide how far shell distraction sites should be from people's homes and wells. and the local people expressed their concerns. >> these rules aren't acceptable because they failed to protect those people who have the 350 foot setback that currently exists. >> reporter: celebrities are also speaking out. yoko ono set up a digital petition that gathered 200,000
hits calling on new york state to halt shale gas development. in other parts of the country, people have been out on the streets protesting. their concern is method of extraction, known as fracking. currently, four states in 300 municipalities have regulations for it. fracking, a technique used to extract shale gas and oil from rock formations, 2 to 3,000 meters underground. pressurized water treated with chemicals is pumped into layers of shale bedrock, opening up cracks in it. after the water is pumped out, the gas and oil are released and collected. however, a growing number of people are alarmed by the potential damage to the environment from the chemically treated water. the state of wyoming has a booming shell gas industry, but reports are suggesting that it's affecting people's well water.
one local, jeff, says his well has been emitting a chemical odor for a few years. >> it don't take out the hydrocarbons and glycols, alcohols, the things that are really nasty. >> reporter: he filters the water from his well but the filter turns black within three days. a study by the environment agency indicates fracking is responsible for the pollution because chemical used in fracking process were detected in the well water. the drilling company contends that the study is incomplete and rejects the notion fracking is related to water pollution. >>back to the 1950s, that indicate there are naturally occurring components like sulfates in the water that make it of poor quality.
there are those people that, you know, believe that the impacts they're experiencing are because of our operations. there's no data that backs that up. >> reporter: recently, another concern has surfaced. the waste water from fracking is being injected into separate underground wells and there are fears this may be causing a growing number of earthquakes. two years ago, a magnitude 5.6 quake hit the town of prague in central oklahoma damaging 400 buildings. it's been 60 years since an earthquake of this size struck the area. the u.s. geological survey says the number of earthquakes in the midwest with a magnitude of 3 or over has increased 6 fold from a decade ago and may be caused by the shell gas industry. >> i think we have plenty of evidence to show that they
really are induced by these waste water disposal activities. >> reporter: the obama administration says it's considering how to regulate this controversial extraction process but at the same time it is stepping up development of shale gas as a key energy source. "nhk world," california. a tiny south pacific airline >> more for you in business next hour. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
a tiny south pacific airline has introduced a new way of charging passengers. tickets are now sold not by seat but by weight. the reaction has been mixed but the head of samoa air has defended the decision as the fairest way of traveling. the carrier flies propeller aircraft domestically and to american samoa. starting from wednesday, passengers will have to step on a scale with their baggage to learn the price of their ticket. the airline charges about $1 per kilogram. the ceo admits passengers initially complained but says that has now changed. >> the indications are that once people have acknowledged that the airplane runs by weight and not by seats, it makes it a lot easier for them to understand. >> samoa has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. the world health organization says more than 8 in 10 samoans are overweight.
the operators of japan's oldest nuclear reactors will have to satisfy a tougher set of rules if they're to keep their aging plants running. following the meltdown at fukushima daiichi, diet members passed a law last june saying reactors must be decommissioned after 40 years. but the law also said the plants could keep going for an additional 20 years if the operators got permission. three of japan's 50 nuclear reactors are at least 40 years old. two are at kansei electric power's meihama and one is at japan's atomic power company's suduku plant. the three are all offline. but the older plants now face stricter inspections. officials with the nuclear regulation authority say operators who want to run their facilities beyond 40 years must conduct ultrasonic checks of their reactor's entire structures. they also have to closely analyze the strength of the concrete in their reactor containment vessels. a new set of requirements will also be introduced for all reactors by july.
operators who can't meet them may be forced to decommission their plants. people in northeastern japan are having an easier time getting around. the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed a train line that connected communities along the pacific coast. crews spent two years rebuilding the railway. they just unveiled the latest section. nhk world was there. >> reporter: trains from across japan joined locals at a small station in the town of ofunato. more than 200 people attended a ceremony to mark the restoration of service on part of the sanriku railway. few seeped happier -- things are back ontrack -- than driver koici sasaki. >> translator: i'm so glad. i'll drive safely. >> reporter: for years, the
sanriku railway has traveled from town to town, providing scenic views of the sea and jagged coastline. it's how many people in this area get around, especially students and seniors. >> translator: i had to walk a lot visiting my hometown by bus but now i can go there often. >> translator: it's great to see the train running. i feel we're recovering. >> reporter: the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed much of the facilities on the 107 kilometer line. trains, stations and bridges. crews have been working to rebuild section by section. most of the north line has been back in operation. but the south line remained out of service.
now 60% of it is running again. the operator wanted to restart before schools begin next week. the repair bill is expected to total more than $100 million. a fifth of that money is coming from kuwait. the middle eastern country gave japan $500 million worth of oil two years ago to help it recover from the disaster. the kuwaiti ambassador went to ofunato to celebrate the reopening of this part of the sanriku line. >> we hope that relaunching this line will reconnect towns and cities and those who carry a message of hope to every resident. we are full of hope that complete recovery is near. >> reporter: about 80% of the entire railway is now running again.
disaster survivors see it as another sign that life in this region is returning to normal. the operator expects to resume full service by next april. nhk world, ofunato, japan. people in some parts of russia are dealing with a problem that sometimes comes with change of seasons. mai shoji has the report. >> a lot of people are dealing with melting snow and a lot of people are dealing with the melt ing. the worst of areas is in the south. dozens of villages are under water. the emergency services are warning residents to evacuate if the situation worsens. the northern area is dealing with similar problems and the conditions could deteriorate. taking you back to the satellite picture you see the massive rain
covering the conditions. this is due to the moisture from the mediterranean. strong gusts, hail as well as very rumbles of thunder associated with the clouds that are developed from the mediterranean. north to that we're looking at some snow yet again the arctic cold air dominated much of the northern half. that could associate with really damaging gusts. out towards atlantic there's some very wet and windy conditions that's going be spreading into france on your thursday. taking a look at the temperatures a lot of the cities are experiencing below freezing marks. berlin minus 2. london is in the single digits. still very much like winter
across europe. moving over to north america we still have this spring storm system moving into the east now heading towards florida. that's going to carry severe thunderstorms along with it. we cannot rule out the fact this could ignite some tornadoes. this snow across oklahoma, that's going to dissipate in the next few hours. down towards the new england region especially the tri-state this is where fire weather is in the dangerous level due to the 30% humidity level as well as strong gusts. dry fuel will be making it easy for fire to spread rapidly. new york 12 degrees. washington, d.c. 13. very human warm up here in oklahoma city from 7 yesterday to 15. enjoy that warmth.
here across japan we're looking at really sunny skies. very different story from what we saw yesterday from that spring storm and people in southern south korea do enjoy the full bloom of the cherry blossoms. south eastern china we're looking at lingering ongoing heavy rain. additional amounts will be localized areas, 200 millimeters. the same conditions will be preva prevailing. 21 in tokyo. i'll leave you now for your extended weather.
isn't the moon dark too, most of the time? and doesn't the white page seem unfinished without the dark stain of alphabets? when god demanded light, he didn't banish darkness. instead he invented ebony and crows and that small mole on your left cheekbone. or did you mean to ask "why are you sad so often?" ask the moon. ask what it has witnessed. thank you. ( cheers and applause )